Maui Arts & Entertainment

Boys’ love film written by Maui author selected for L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival

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Kaipo Dudoit, Charieze Cacayorin and Jayron Munoz in the boysʻ love drama “My Partner.” Photo Courtesy: KSG Films

Hawaiʻi’s first boys’ love drama “My Partner,” which follows the story of two Lahainaluna High School senior boys whose separate worlds collide in a journey of self-awakening, premieres May 7 at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

The film — written by Maui’s Lance D. Collins and directed by Native Hawaiian visual storyteller Keliʻi Grace — tackles themes of cultural identity, immigration and land stewardship.

The film focuses on the lives of Edmar, a high-achieving Filipino student, and Pili, a Native Hawaiian student athlete stand-out. Their seemingly separate worlds enter into a collision course when they are assigned to work on a class project together despite coming from rival friend groups.

  • Jayron Munoz as Edmar, Alakaʻi Lastimado as Uncle Jack (KSG Films)
  • Alakaʻi Lastimado as Uncle Jack, Kaipo Dudoit as Pili (KSG Films)
  • Jayron Munoz as Edmar, Kaipo Dudoit as Pili (KSG Films)
  • Kauʻi Kaina, Kaipo Dudoit, Jayron Munoz (KSG Films)

Edmar and his friends are working-class Filipino immigrants who struggle with the demands and limitations placed upon them by global economic forces. Pili and his friends fight against intergenerational cultural erasure and physical dispossession of Hawaiʻi’s native people.

Collins said the film showcases the richness of the Hawaiʻi region, exploring important themes and shedding light on the complexities of the boys’ love genre, which started in Japan and now is worldwide. Boys’ love stories involve two male characters who unexpectedly develop romantic feelings for one another.

In “My Partner,” despite the intense conflict between their friend groups, Pili and Edmar come to better understand each other’s cultures and develop a deeper understanding of themselves, ultimately discovering pathways to solidarity and aloha.


In his feature directorial debut, Grace led the production as a pono filmmaking process, ensuring all aspects of the film’s production supported the renewal and transformation of local communities in Hawaiʻi.

“My Partner” movie poster

Community engagement with key stakeholders in the overlapping kanaka (Native Hawaiian), LGBTQIA+ and environmental communities was vital in the film’s creation, according to Collins.

The cast and crew are all based in Hawaiʻi, and all of the cast members are first-time film actors. Kaipo Dudoit and Jayron Munoz play the main characters. The final on-screen product is a celebration and acknowledgment of exceptional filmmaking talent in Hawaiʻi.


Character dialogue in the film is in Tagalog, Hawaiian and English, further showcasing the cultural richness of the region.

The film trailer is available at the My Partner Movie website.


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